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The University of Southampton
Early Years CentrePart of Student Services

English as an additional language

Children who attend our Centre may speak several languages and we have a lot of experience working with children who have English as an additional language (EAL).

If your child has English as an additional language it may take more time for them to settle in as they have more things to familiarise themselves with. Please don’t worry, your child’s Keyworker will ask you to provide us with some key words in your child’s first language and ask you how to spell them phonetically (as you sound them). We  may ask for your help in writing some labels in your first language for us to use. We find that understanding comes very quickly while expression (talking) may come a little later.

It is important that your child retains their first language and therefore we recommend that you continue to use it with them.

If you have any concerns please contact the Centre.

Further support in the community

New multilingual group

One of our Parents, herself with a trilingual family, has just set up a Multilingual Children in Southampton Facebook page: This group hopes to help parents of multilingual children in Southampton find other parents with children of the same age and the same language, to help the children form a social circle in their own language. Find out more on Facebook:

Please forward this to colleagues (staff or students) or friends bringing up children in bi- or multi-lingual households, whether or not they are part of the University of Southampton.

Note: this Facebook page is independent of the University of Southampton.

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